The Lords of War: The Perils Facing Trump, Garland, and Smith in Washington’s Legal Arms Race

Below is my column in The Hill on the appointment of a special counsel to investigate former President Donald Trump. All of the three main players — Trump, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and Special Counsel Jack Smith — will face immediate challenges in the legal arms race unfolding in Washington.

Here is the column:

There seemed to be enough torpedoes in the water in Washington this week that you could walk across the Potomac without getting your feet wet. On Capitol Hill, the new House Republican majority announced a series of subpoena-ready investigations of President Biden and administration officials. At the Justice Department, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to investigate former President Trump for possible crimes ranging from the 2020 election to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot to the Mar-a-Lago documents controversy.

It was all reminiscent of the movie “The Lord of War,” in which a fictional arms dealer warns that “the problem with gunrunners going to war is that there is no shortage of ammunition.” The same appears true of rival government officials having no shortage of subpoenas.

In this atmosphere of politically and mutually assured destruction, there are some immediate threats for the three main combatants:

Attorney General Garland

When he announced the appointment of Jack Smith to investigate Trump, Garland explained that “based on recent developments, including the former president’s announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election, and the sitting president’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel.”

In making that case for a Trump special counsel, however, Garland may have made a case against himself for refusing to appoint a Biden special counsel in the Hunter Biden scandal. Garland’s department is investigating potential wrongdoing that could involve the other referenced candidate, President Biden, in the Hunter Biden matter. That investigation should be looking at numerous alleged references to the president using code names such as “the Big Guy” in the context of receiving percentages on foreign deals and other perks. Yet Garland has refused to appoint a special counsel in an investigation that not only could prove highly embarrassing to the president but, in the view of some of us, could implicate him as well.

Congressional Democrats repeatedly voted to block an investigation of this alleged multimillion-dollar influence peddling by the Biden family. House Republicans are now poised to look into these foreign deals — and how the Justice Department may have stymied or slowed any investigation before the 2020 election.

While the special counsel appointment helps insulate Garland from claims about the use of his department for political purposes on any Trump charges, he may soon face new challenges, including possible contempt referrals if Biden officials or Democrats refuse to supply information or testimony to Republican House investigators. Garland has sharply departed from prior cases in which the Justice Department largely refused to prosecute such contempt referrals; he has been very active in pursuing Trump officials who failed to cooperate with Congress. He now may be asked to show the same willingness to pursue those who obstruct or defy House Republican investigations.

Former President Trump

The greatest threat clearly faces Trump himself. His announced intention to run for the presidency in 2024 may have expedited the appointment of a special counsel. With the expectation of a possible indictment, Trump may have wanted to frame the optics as a vendetta against a declared Biden opponent before his administration took any major step toward prosecution. Instead, it likely sealed the need for a special counsel.

Trump already has declared the move to be political and says he will not “partake in” an investigation.

A special counsel could make fast work of controversies such as Mar-a-Lago, which have been investigated for months and already have secured grand jury testimony. For Trump, having a special counsel in control, rather than an attorney general, may prove even more precarious. Some of the potential charges for unlawful transfer or possession of classified material historically have resulted in relatively minor charges. If this investigation produces the basis for an obstruction charge or misdemeanors, Garland might have been inclined to use his discretion to forgo prosecution and avoid political disruption or questions of bias. In contrast, after the expense and effort to create his office, a special counsel may feel less inclined to overlook a chargeable offense. The majority of people charged by former special counsel Robert Mueller faced relatively minor charges and served short terms in jail.

Trump also will face practical barriers. Prosecutors usually start with the low-hanging fruit in an organization, to coerce people to cooperate by threatening criminal charges. On issues such as obstruction, Trump did not allegedly act alone; there were staff and lawyers who made what the FBI claims were knowingly false or misleading representations. Those individuals must now be viewed by Trump’s counsel as having potential conflicts of interest, including his former counsel. The only way to avoid conflicts or vulnerabilities is to assemble a largely new staff that was not involved in either the Jan. 6 or Mar-a-Lago episodes.

That is the difference between “partaking” in a personal excursion and a criminal investigation: The latter does not depend on your participation.

Special Counsel Smith

Smith faces the unenviable task of investigating a presidential candidate less than two years before the election. Given the advanced stage of prior investigations, he could bring charges before Sept. 5, 2024 (or roughly 60 days before the election under Justice Department guidelines for election year filings). It is unlikely, however, that a charge against Trump could be tried in that time.

However, Smith’s first test will be to avoid the initial mistakes of a predecessor, Mueller.

Like Smith, Mueller was considered a natural choice as special counsel, given his extensive experience as a career prosecutor. However, Mueller’s investigation was undermined by his selection of a team — starting with his top aide, Andrew Weissmann, a controversial prosecutor who was accused of political bias. The investigation was further undermined by FBI personnel, including Special Agent Peter Strzok, who was later removed from the team and fired by the Justice Department; Strzok has since filed a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Smith can avoid tripping a similar explosive wire by selecting a team that is defined by its prior professional expertise, not its prior political views or associations.

He also needs to be wary of creative avenues to indict Trump. Smith was part of the prosecution team that convicted former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) on federal corruption charges in 2014. The Supreme Court unanimously overturned that conviction as having stretched the law beyond its breaking point. If Smith is going to be the first prosecutor to indict a former president, he needs to do so with unimpeachable evidence of an unchallengeable crime.

Only one thing is certain in any of this: It will not end well.

With both sides loading up staff and subpoenas, the start of the 2024 campaign season has all of the makings of an utter bloodletting. There will be ample support for both sides to fulfill their respective narratives — and no shortage of legal weapons — in this political war of attrition.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

180 thoughts on “The Lords of War: The Perils Facing Trump, Garland, and Smith in Washington’s Legal Arms Race”

  1. Meanwhile, a long drawn-out DOJ charade will provide cover for those corrupt individuals — both Democrats and Republicans — who should be facing an investigation in the FTX scandal, which would dwarf anything Trump or Biden may have done to date. And that may be the only genuine crime of the century.

    1. GioCon, 95 percent of the contributions fro FTX went to Democrats. Asserting an equal level of receiving corrupted money does not correspond with the facts. Like all good Democrats the builder of FTX wants to save the world. Let the ethics be damned.

      1. FTX, check out the people and organizations involved. We are being hoodwinked.

        https://brownstone.org/articles/covid-crypto-connection-ftx-and-sbf/

        The Covid/Crypto Connection: The Grim Saga of FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried

        And you can’t make this stuff up anymore: FTX had a close relationship with the World Economic Forum and was the favored crypto exchange of the Ukrainian government. It looks for all the world like the money-laundering operation of the Democratic National Committee and the entire lockdown lobby.

  2. “If Smith is going to be the first prosecutor to indict a former president, he needs to do so with unimpeachable evidence of an unchallengeable crime.”

    Why is this the standard? Any lawyer who has gone to law school knows that a good lawyer can challenge every piece of evidence in every case, you can put up a legal defense for any criminal allegation. The standard – proof beyond a reasonable doubt – is the standard whether the person is President or not. This is just moving the goalposts to any possible indictment of Trump to an impossible standard.

    And that, of course, is what Turley is trying to accomplish. Trump should never be indicted no matter what he does in Turley’s estimation.

  3. Justice Antonin Scalia quoted, in his dissent in Morrison v. Olson, 487 U.S. 654 (1988), Justice Robert Jackson, when Jackson was Attorney General under President Franklin Roosevelt. The quote was from an Address Jackson delivered at the Second Annual Conference of United States Attorneys, April 1, 1940. Both Jackson and Scalia’s words apply to Merrick Garland’s politicization of justice. Garland is likely taking cues from Obama hiding in the wings.

    In such a case, it is not a question of discovering the commission of a crime and then looking for the man who has committed it, it is a question of picking the man and then searching the law books, or putting investigators to work, to pin some offense on him. It is in this realm-in which the prosecutor picks some person whom he dislikes or desires to embarrass, or selects some group of unpopular persons and then looks for an offense, that the greatest danger of abuse of prosecuting power lies. It is here that law enforcement becomes personal, and the real crime becomes that of being unpopular with the predominant or governing group, being attached to the wrong political views, or being personally obnoxious to or in the way of the prosecutor himself.

    https://www.roberthjackson.org/speech-and-writing/the-federal-prosecutor/

    Mitch McConnell was right about blocking Obama’s nominee of Garland presumably because McConnell knew Obama was then a nefarious person.

    1. That sounds like what Turley is promoting “here is Hunter Biden’s laptop. He is the son of our political enemy. Please find a crime in it.”

      1. Toni, you have the timeline all wrong. Bidens brother Jim has been getting no bid govt contracts for decades, Then Hunter got greedy and accepted a position on Ukraine energy company Burisma, pay about $800k per year, the mayor of Moscow, sending Hunter $2 mill, and a Chinese company that is owned the the communist party, gave hunters hedge fund $2Billion to manage (@ 1/10 of 1% commission, =$2mil/year) +150 SARs (suspicions activity reports) at the Treasury Dept. A volume of reports never generated by a single entity since the oeifin of the report, strange that no law enforcement agency found that enough to do a cursory investigation.

        Then the lap top became public, Providing evidence of illegal activities.

        So the crimes preceded the laptop by years.

  4. Good outline of the landscape coming up, Turley. With one notable exception — and it’s a likely outcome actually. That being a special counsel unearthing of prosecutable evidence against R committee chairs who will set their teeth into Biden’s son….

    And another dualistic conundrum you ommited…, for R’s to go after Hunter it completely opens the door for Smith to look into the king of families that sold influence when Dad was president, that being the trump children.

    So applause for going part way in this speculative piece assigned to you by fox News, a hearty yawn toward what it willingly overlooks and seeks to bury.

    Party on!!!

    1. Word on the street is that Starbucks stores in your area have blocked you from using their WiFi Hotspot signals because you keep throwing Molotov Cocktails at patrons.

    2. Anonymous, the Trump family did not have business partners who were leaders in the Communist Party of China. The Biden family did. You say it is wrong on the one hand and excuse it on the other. However, I am willing to listen if you can provide pictures of the Trump family meeting with Chinese officials. I am willing to hear you out if you present evidence of Jared Cushner being involved in millions of dollars worth of deals with the Saudis. Short of the presentation of such evidence I must conclude that your what about ism is a result of very little depth of thought.

    3. And another dualistic conundrum you ommited…, for R’s to go after Hunter it completely opens

      You and all your clueless leftist snowflakes will repeat this lie forever. The Republicans are clear they are NOT investigating Hunter. They are investigating President Biden.

  5. Many government officials break many laws, all of the time. Proper “loyalty” is the real issue here that matters.

    Presidents, Congress, FBI, NSA, CIA and all other local, state and federal officials (contractors and front company personnel) swear a supreme loyalty to uphold the U.S. Constitution limiting their job authority (color of law authority).

    So breaking laws in pursuit of one’s constitutional Oath of Office (which many official do) is totally different from someone “disloyal” to their Oath of Office. Every official swears an Oath of Office NOT to violate anyone’s constitutional rights using their job authority.

    So how does that square with other non-job loyalty oaths? An official can still attend church and have religious freedom on their non-job time, An official can still honor his or her marriage oath on their non-job time.

    What about govern torture-attorneys and torture-doctors? These officials take 2 loyalty oaths that conflict with one another but govern job authority.

    For example: A doctor or medical professional takes a Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm” but also takes a government oath NOT to violate anyone’s constitutional rights. What does a government doctor do when a disloyal supervisor tells them to participate in torture or cruel treatment? They resign, they refuse orders from disloyal supervisors.

    Any president or member of Congress or military, that supported an insurrection on January 6 to overthrow the government. That type of lawbreaking for that type of disloyalty to one’s Oath of Office is far worse. Michael Flynn supporting a model of foreign theocracy (similar to Iran’s Islamic republic model) in violation of his military Oath of Office to uphold the U.S. Constitution is far worse. [source: Frontline’s 2022 show “Michael Flynn’s Holy War”].

    Trump stealing classified documents from the White House was law-breaking that was also disloyal to his Oath of Office.

  6. A Special Counsel needs to be appointed to figure out how private citizen Hunter Biden’s private laptop ended up in the hands of Rudy Guiliani and what Rudy Guiliani did with it when he had it, and whether any of that constituted a crime.

    I know that I, as a private citizen with a private laptop, do not want my laptop to be searched and published by Rudy Guiliani.

    1. Tough bounce, kiddo. If you leave your laptop more than 90 days and don’t pay the repair bill you authorized, then it isn’t yours any more.

  7. Smith won’t indict Trump. If he did, he’d have to indict Hillaryious and Obaummer who did the exact same thing. He’ll pull a Comey: at the election’s eleventh hour he’ll climb the dais and say that what the President did was really, really bad but there’s no indictaion of criminal mens rea so no charges. The DOJ already set this up with that leaked story to the Post about Trump’s motive: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/11/14/trump-motive-mar-a-lago-documents/

    Ho hum corrupt DOJ/DC at its finest – affect the election without looking like you’re affecting the election. They’ve already traisped Bill Arnold … er Barr … out there with the ominous (if unconvincing) “… there may be, might be , could be a basis to indict Trump … but er … I’m not saying they’re going to that — just that they might.” What a swamp rat Barr has become. Rome burns and he whines against the unkempt uniforms of the fire brigade.

    1. Your reasoning is partially correct but keep in mind, the success of a prosecution here is not the goal. The goal is to keep Trump out of the 2024 election or if he runs, to make sure he doesn’t win. The arguments you raise are good ones and would weigh heavily in an appeal on the grounds of a prosecution that by any measure is vindictive, selective, and an abuse of the statutes and agency discretion but remember, first he must be convicted before that appeal can be filed. And by then, Chelsea Clinton will be running against Baron Trump! 🙂

  8. Smith will overreach as most zealots do because he cannot control himself. He was dispatched to The Hague to cool him off and get him out of the way for a while. It’s a common DOJ procedure. The House is already considering bringing witnesses from overseas to testify against the Biden family, including the big guy. Scores of FBI and CIA whistleblowers are lined up seeking job protection in return for a lot of gut-spilling. The one common denominator for all sides in this tragic opera is the truth. How we get to that is secondary but we must get to it, otherwise the next generation will have to solve this problem all over again. Trump’s behavior surely is puzzling and needs explaining. How can he be counted on to protect the nation when he seems oblivious to protecting himself from a simple charge of obstruction? And meanwhile, the House seems to have the goods on the Biden family ill-gotten wealth that may cost the big guy his job and, possibly, his freedom. The one knight in shining armor here may be DeSantis who remains untouched by any of this. The Democrats have no bench and the party’s leadership is simply too old and feeble. As Gov. Huckabee said recently, the Democrats don’t really have a problem with fossil fuel; the Democrats’ problem is that they are all fossils!

  9. Dear Prof Turley,

    Forget the Laptop. Here is the elephant in the room …

    As we have previously discussed, over 50 tip top national security intelligence officials (past and present), have well-established Hunter Biden’s laptop is really Vlad Putin’s laptop.

    Obviously, this must be exhibit #1 in any attempt, by anyone, to resolve any lingering question(s) arising from any investigation of Vlad Putin’s Laptop. .. and the disturbing national security issues that would involve.

    *partial list:

    “Nick Shapiro, a former top aide under CIA director John Brennan, provided POLITICO with the letter on Monday. He noted that “the IC leaders who have signed this letter worked for the past four presidents, including Trump. The real power here however is the number of former, working-level IC officers who want the American people to know that once again the Russians are interfering.”
    The former Trump administration officials who signed the letter include Russ Travers, who served as National Counterterrorism Center acting director; Glenn Gerstell, the former NSA general counsel; Rick Ledgett, the former deputy NSA director; Marc Polymeropoulos, a retired CIA senior operations officer; and Cynthia Strand, who served as the CIA’s deputy assistant director for global issues. Former CIA directors or acting directors Brennan, Leon Panetta, Gen. Michael Hayden, John McLaughlin and Michael Morell also signed the letter, along with more than three dozen other intelligence veterans. Several of the former officials on the list have endorsed Biden.” ~ story

    1. These former intel chiefs may be biased but they’re not stupid. They incorporated enough weasel-words in their letter (statement) to cover their backsides if and when facts reveal them to be incorrect. For example, “We want to emphasize that we do not know if the emails, provided to the New York Post by President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, are genuine or not and that we do not have evidence of Russian involvement — just that our experience makes us deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case.” I think what may be more revealing is how the group was assembled, who formed it and why and what representations were made to the signatories to get them to sign on. There’s been a suggestion that the authenticity of the laptop was already established when this statement was put together and published. If so, it would rachet up the significance of event to a possible criminal act to interfere with an election. The statement was dated October 19, 2020, just two weeks before the election.

      1. The letter was a standard info operation – something the “intelligence community” has done to interfere in elections in foreign countries for decades.

        The purpose of the letter was to manufacture a “news event”. To goal was to get the media to report on the letter’s existence for the purpose of influencing the public’s perception.

        Whether they believed what they wrote is irrelevant to the goal of the operation.

      2. Oh, I think it was clearly well beyond [political] ‘bias’ .. . and there is a fine line between ‘weasel words’ and stupid.

        My point is these claims of false flag Russian disinformation, echoed by President Biden, are either true or false. .. and either answer implies truly disturbing national security implications.

        *”The real power here however is the number of former, working-level IC officers who want the American people to know that once again the Russians are interfering.” ~ story

    2. “Here is the elephant in the room …”

      Wake me when they provide actual evidence, instead of a smokescreen of delusional speculations.

      “. . . over 50 tip top national security intelligence officials . . .”

      In case you missed that day of logic class: Appeal to authority (no matter how many or how luminous their titles) is *not* an argument. It’s a fallacy.

      1. We must be talking cross-purposes.

        *nothing in my comments was an appeal to the ‘Russian disinformation’ argument.

  10. “Garland appointed a special counsel to investigate former President Trump for” for breathing, eating, being a R.

    1. Sam wrote, ” ‘Garland appointed a special counsel to investigate former President Trump for’ for breathing, eating, being a R.”

      I’m surprised the Democrats haven’t investigated President Trump for intentionally abusing public employees while in the White House; after all, sanitation workers are public employees and I’m dead certain that President Trump took a dump on one or more of the porcelain thrones while he was in the White House and I’m sure the Democrats could easily twist that into some propaganda narrative of Trump abusively dumping physical sh!t on public employees.

      Democrats will throw any anti-Trump sh!t they can muster up on the political wall to see what sticks in the minds of the ignorant sheeple. What’s sad, it there are many, many ignorant sheeple in the general public that willfully eat the sh!t that’s slung on the walls, and like good pledges in an Animal House frat, they bend over and dutifully say “thank you sir, may I have another”.

  11. All these Washington DC propaganda investigations, all the way back to the Russian collusion BS that started in 2016 have all the “show me the man and I’ll find you the crime” anti-American anti-Constitution bells clanging loudly in my head. The new House Republican majority is going to dive into a Hunter Biden laptop inspired investigation to get President Biden for something that he might have done long before he became President and the Democrats counterpunch with another anti-Trump special counsel to get Donald Trump. All the corrupt political hacks that we call Washington DC politicians, their administration cronies and their lapdog media have to do is present some preconceived notion in a propaganda narrative and all of the DC attack dogs and their willful sheeple circle the political witch-hunt wagons, sight-in their rhetorical bazookas and off we all go, over the cliff, into an abyss of Sicilian mob styled tit-for-tat slugfests with one BS investigation after another.

    Jonathan wrote, “Only one thing is certain in any of this: It will not end well.”

    I completely agree!!!

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m damned sick and tired of being sick and tired of all the corruption and propaganda!

  12. As fascinating as the unfolding of Jack Smith’s next task is guaranteed to be, I’ve promised myself to NOT follow it — at my age, and with all the ‘stuff’ going on around us domestically and internationally, and as Dan Quayle properly described the presidential primary season as ‘the silly season,’ I just don’t have time for it. I’ve got grandkids to give my attention to!

    1. Richard Lowe,
      I hear ya.

      It was rather interesting that OPEC+ is discussing increasing oil production, lowering the price of oil per barrel . . . just after the Biden admin suggests Saudi Crown Prince Be Granted Immunity In Khashoggi murder lawsuit.

      1. interesting that OPEC+ is discussing increasing oil production, lowering the price of oil per barrel . . . just after the Biden admin suggests Saudi Crown Prince Be Granted Immunity

        Biden did lots lying and deal making falling apart now. No prosecution of Gulliani, was made public after the election, At leas 2 railroad unions have voted down offers. The Railroad strikes have been in the news for 3-4 weeks, the media ghosted all the info, even FOX, but it is now starting to be reported. Its been in Agricultural news since shortly after, Biden was credited negotiating a fix for the strike. All he did is get the unions to not strike until after the election.

  13. The continued persecution of President Trump just solidifies working Americans support for him. This President unknowingly caused the corrupt to reveal themselves to America. The Russia Russia, Ukraine, Impeachments, lap top all swept under the rug. How can we believe this is America? Now they admit we are all victims of Pegasus.

  14. I am glad that Professor Turley brought up Andrew Weissman since this new special counsel seems to also have a predilection for stretching the law and they both had major cases overturned by unanimous votes of the Supreme Court. Not a good look when supposedly looking to be unbiased. Of course there is another way of looking at this mess. If DOJ (Biden and Garland-since I think it is fantasy to say they are not locked at the hip) focus all their energies on Trump and go through with an indictment and charges, that will just infuriate millions but probably clear Trump from waters around D.C. That will likely leave the political ocean open to bigger and deadlier Republican Sharks who are just as committed to the Trump program and point of view but smarter, more effective manipulators of the media, and with true accomplishments and strings of electoral victories. The DOJ might save the Republican Party a great deal of money by eliminating much of a turbulent 2024 primary season and end up with a coronation in Republican politics, united and with lots of money. Christie, Pence, Hogan, Hutchinson, Cheney all have the proverbial snowballs chance in hell. We all know who the real contestants would be and who would remain if the DOJ removes one. The DOJ and FBI could look like new institutions in 2025, probably less staff though.

  15. Jonathan, Thank you for the TV Guide excerpt for the next two years leading up to the 2024 Election. The programing notes look at this point to include plenty of; Party diversions-by-investigation, finger pointing, and collusion. It should provide plenty of Air-Time Content and Pundit commentary, with plenty of slots for Old Retired Politicians to chime in. While the real Culprits sit on the sidelines to cheer and gloat as the mysteries and pain are dished out. While Biden and Trump go at it, The Party Convention Debates will add color and focus as Newson and Desantis will fill in the voids from the Campaign Trail.

    Yes Indeed! – The scheduled is coming together quite nicely and looks to be a fulfilling 2023-2024 entertainment season ahead.

  16. Smith needs “unimpeachable evidence of an unchallengeable crime?” What possible crime could he find that Trump committed that Turley and Tucker and Hannity would say “that’s a crime and Trump is clearly guilty.” Where Gaetz and Jordan will say “yep, he’s a crook.” No, Trump has a whole media echosphere and Republican Congress dedicated to run interference for Trump. There is no possible set of facts which would make these people say Trump is guilty – but the rest of us must proceed anyway or he cannot be held accountable for anything.

    1. No Possible, now tell us when even ONE Democrat admitted that any Biden committed a crime. How about even one media personality. How about one Big Tech person. How about one Hollywood person. The Bidens have been shown to have committed multiple crimes, multiple questionable legal activities and even UNquestionably UN COnstitutional acts while president and yet you and all the other partisan hacks see nothing at issue in anything these crooks have done.

      Take your kid on AF 2 to China to work a questionable deal with the CCP backed financiers…fine. Get huge checks from Moscow…fine. Fire a Ukrainian looking into Hunter…no problem. Be the “Big Guy”…ok. Get 10%…sure thing. Have keys to the family office…whatevs. Become a multimillionaire while in the Senate…seems legit. SICKENING!

    2. Whose decision will it be to indict Trump? Presumably Smith’s. Will he weigh the harm caused by any offense he finds against the damage an indictment and trial would likely bring? Let’s imagine that Trump’s possession at MAL of the documents with classified markings was not likely to hurt national security, but that Trump was being obstructive when he said he had provided all there were in response to the subpoena. If this constituted a crime should it lead to an indictment? And why should it be Smith who makes that decision? He has no political accountability.

      1. I believe Garland said Smith will have to report to him. My guess is Garland will make whatever decisions are needed to be made re: prosecution(s). Remember how Mueller deferred to Barr in the possible obstruction charge against Trump several years ago?

        1. Mueller did not find that Trump committed a crime. Moreover, DOJ policy did not permit the indictment of a sitting President. If Smith determines that Trump committed a crime, why do you think he would consult Garland? Did Mueller consult DOJ before bringing any of his indictments? The whole point of appointing an SC is to insulate charging decisions from political influence.

          1. Daniel, I believe the Special Counsel Statute, requires a report to the Atty Gen. The statute provides no step two. The AG is free do do as he sees fit. The Report is 100% under the control of the AG and congress has no power to demand to see it. Remember, Congress is the entity that wrote the rules.

    3. No Possible: “Trump has a whole media echosphere…” Seriously, you object to a smattering of pro-conservative voices? Meanwhile the cacophony of voices on the other side plus Big Government plus the Deep State plus Big Tech attempts to drown out and smother opposing views. Cry me a river man.

    4. “[B]ut the rest of us must proceed anyway” while evading history and motivations, and wishing upon a star that this time, when we cry “wolf,” people will believe us.

  17. In part of the column, Dr. Turley refers to an ‘utter bloodletting’. I think an’utter bloodbath’ would have been more descriptive.

  18. the only solution is cut 50% of government and move 75% of DC to the heartland.
    DC is lost and the letter letter agencies there are 100% corrupt! IRS, DOJ, FBI, NSA, CIA, DHS, EPA, etc
    Too much is in DC…and it is being abused!

  19. It’s obvious the special council was simply to distract from the Hunter Biden investigation that will soon begin. Anyone that doesn’t see this as 100% political is a fool. The only positive is realizing how fortunate we are that Merrick Garland did not end up on the Supreme Court.

    1. The media and FBI suppression of Hunter’s laptop loaded with evidence of actual serious wrongdoing by a presidential candidate is going to be difficult to square with going after another candidate with tenous claims of mishandling papers. The level of hypocrisy will be stunning.

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